Showing posts from January 10, 2016

#*!!#***## Comcast ............................ and a visitor to my home today

On many recent days (sometimes three times a day)  Verizon's FIOS has been urging me via a Facebook posting to hurry up and to claim my $400 bonus.

I am sceptical about such bonuses.  But that's beside the point.  FIOS  is not available in my community.  So much for a Communications Company.

We are stuck with #*!!#***## Comcast.

The Condo. Association has a "deal" with Comcast, so basic cable T.V. service is included in our monthly Association charge.

I have to pay extra for WiFi.    Comcast chooses to increase their bill for this every darn year, despite the fact that there are no additional services, no improvement in performance, (and inflation is next to nothing).

I wrote them last year to ask why my charge had increased, but of course I did not receive a reply. (So much for another Communications Company).   This year the increase was $2 per month, with no explanation as to why.   Now I pay $66.65 per month, for WiFi only.

(It would be cheaper, but less convenie…

And there are sad days.

Some may remember that I have written about my near neigbours Bertil (Bert) and Pauline (Polly) Johnson.

They have spent the winters here, and the summers in Fishers, IN  (near Indianapolis).

I had grown to be very fond of them  and, surprisingly enough, my dog Penne and their cat Daisy bonded in an unusual canine/feline way.

Each summer I wondered if Bert and Polly would be strong enough to take the return trip to SRQ for the winter months, so much so that a few years ago their son David and I shared 'phone numbers so that we could be in touch in the event of an emergency.

Despite the deep concerns of David and his sister, Bert and Polly came back to SRQ on Thanksgiving 2014.

Bert was increasingly frail (but always utterly gentle and cheerful). Polly's short term memory was all but gone, though she  loved to share narratives from way back when.

Within a few weeks of their return to SRQ  it became very clear that they were unable to sustain an unsupported life.

Their children …

Being happy for the joy of other people - it sweetens life.

Back in 1999 I spent a week at the Taize Community in Burgundy, France,


I was there, by happenstance, with my Diocese of Western Massachusetts colleague Mark Beckwith (now the Bishop of Newark, N.J.)

Although the food at the Taize Community is only a few notches above abominable, the deep experience of the palpable presence of God was glorious.

The mission of the Taize Community is to  young adults aged 18-35.  We older folks ate, slept, and joined in small groups in a distinct area, It  was clear that we were there under a rubric of gracious sufferance -  and that was all to the good.

Of course both young and old shared in prayer and worship at the daily services,

The old ones also got to mix with the 18-35 age group at the late afternoon snack time.

At one of those snack times I observed a group of teen aged Germans as they played with "Devil Sticks" see

I grinned from ear to ear as I watched the sheer…

It starts at 8:30 p.m.

8:30 p.m. is my usual bedtime.

Once the lights are out my two cats conspire.

First they lay low for a while, until they hear my snores.

Then they engage in all manner of pre-planned chases around my home.  The chases are designed to knock over brooms, push folders off my desk, try to get into the trash pail, search for any garbage which I've not placed outside,  kick up a storm in their litter boxes, knock over anything that can possibly be knocked over,

What nocturnal fun,

Then, at 4:30 a.m.,  they scratch on my bedroom door and yowl like banshees, (or Gregorian Chant?).

Their message is clear.  "Dad, for goodness sake get up.  You left the house in a terrible mess last night.  Now clear it up.  And then give us breakfast.  We are starving".